Education

How to Learn Spanish Abroad – 2021 Guide

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Written by Teri Orozco

There are a lot of reasons why investing in learning a new language is a good idea. Learning new skills is generally considered a smart investment because skills will become your tool for progress in life.

Having a language skill opens so many doors and opportunities, but beyond anything gives a sense of contentment – being able to communicate with the world around you.

There are 7.5 billion people in the world, that speak more than 7 thousand languages. However, there are always a few dominant ones, spoken by almost everyone. Spanish is one of those, and learning it will allow you to communicate with more than 340 million people. And this number only shows the native speakers. Also, it’s one of the languages spoken on all 6 continents. A smart investment, indeed.

What are the ways to learn it?

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There are so many, and your success will probably depend on your learning style. The option used today by most is learning a language online, which is good for those who are hardworking and responsible. Tons of apps for mobile phones have been developed to make learning as effective as possible.

The second most used option is to enroll in a course. Suitable for those who like to get to the essence of language. However, there are far more exciting options for learning Spanish, in particular. Since it is spoken on every continent, as we wrote, it gives a great opportunity to pack your bags, move for a while and learn it abroad.

Here are some tips on how you can learn Spanish abroad.

1. Find a school that suits your needs?

Some universities give options for language courses, so if you plan to travel or move for a certain period of time, you can search for a course and start your language journey. There are also schools that offer specialized programs, like Expanish, where you can choose to learn in a group, individually, take evening classes, or commit serious time by enrolling in a long-term program.

The advantage of going to a foreign language course abroad is that the person does not feel alone, since the groups are also assembled of foreigners learning the language. This way, one can make friends from other countries as well.

After only a few days you will start speaking Spanish but also start thinking in Spanish since you’re away from people who speak your native language. Moreover, to function in a Spanish community and speak to people, you’ll have to think in Spanish.

2. Volunteer.

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If going to school is too much (you’ve been going most of your life anyway), and doesn’t get you motivated, you can always go abroad for a different reason. And what a better reason, than to volunteer for a good cause.

Volunteering opportunities are a great way to contribute to a cause you care about, experience living in a different culture, make friends, and learn a language while performing your volunteering duties.

Spanish is one of those languages that are easily picked up. Because of the rhythm, pronunciation, and warmth of the people living in Spanish-speaking countries.

When you move to volunteer, you’ll interact with more locals than in any other opportunity, therefore you’ll be thrown on a fire. You’ll have to start speaking. If these kinds of adventures motivate you, go for it.

3. Find a tutor

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One-on-one learning classes can also be fun, especially when you live abroad. Language tutors can be found in every country, and their greatest advantage is that they will develop a learning plan with you, focused on achieving your goals, and find a pace and approach that suits you. The sessions are focused on conversation and are designed to help you develop self-confidence in speech.

Most tutors are flexible when it comes to place, so learning can happen everywhere. This way you can combine learning and practicing Spanish on the street, in a restaurant, on the market or some famous cultural site where you can also learn about tradition, for example.

4. University studies

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Choosing to study the Spanish language abroad, is for those who want to make a career out of language and literature. A lot of scholarship programs are being offered to those who want to pursue a career in literature, but cannot afford to pay full tuition.

There’s an obvious advantage to this, and it’s a faculty diploma, that’s always valid proof of knowledge.

5. Student exchange

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If you’re already a student who feels passionate about Spanish, apply for a student’s exchange program to get some hands-on experience in Spanish. You don’t necessarily have to study languages to do so.

Even if you chose some other major, like management or politics, courses such as the ones we wrote about above, can be found in every university. All you need is the motivation to learn. It will certainly be an advantage since you’re already in a Spanish-speaking country.

When in Rome…

Speaking of motivation… In the end, it is the most important element when deciding to move abroad and learn a language.

Why do you want to learn a new language? That is the first question you have to ask yourself. This will keep you focused and always see the goal in front of you. Don’t get upset if you don’t know immediately what everything means, have patience. A new environment can be a lot to take in.

Learning a language is like putting together a puzzle. However, starting this puzzle with something you really love, makes it easier to progress. For example, if you like cooking, head to the market and do your best to learn spices, fruits, and vegetables. Then proceed to the recipes. Learning will not feel like learning at all.
And remember, wherever you are reading, watching movies and shows in Spanish will enrich your vocabulary. It can be an addition to the classes you’re taking, or practice a local language if you’re volunteering somewhere. In any way, it’s going to help you learn faster while relaxing at the same time.

About the author

Teri Orozco

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